Australia’s Smart Meter Hacking Vulnerability Claims

smart_meter_radiation.jpgBy Catherine J. Frompovich

Readers ought to consider this article a serendipitous follow-up to my recent column “Are Microwave Industries And Utilities Operating The Way Talcum Powder Makers Obfuscated?”, as I was emailed information from Australia about how smart meters are capable of being hacked into on what would seem like a ‘grand’ scale.

The Canberra [Australia] Times published “3225 smart meters in Canberra vulnerable to hacking” on April 26, 2017 citing Nigel Phair, Director of the Center for Internet Safety at the University of Canberra [1], who warned consumers of the risks they are not aware of associated with smart meters.

Smart meters are defined as AMR and AMI smart meters. The AMR (automatic meter reading) meters send customers’ utility usage back to utilities for billing purposes only with no ‘spying’ capabilities. It’s a “one-way reporting meter.”

The AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) meter is a “two-way meter”: one way reports customers’ usage and which appliances are operating; how much power they consume; and generate an appliance ‘profile’, e.g., time of use, duration, etc. while the other way sends instructions via a ZigBee radio, which transmits non-thermal radiation waves on to household wires, to customers’ meters instructing either to cause rolling “brown outs” or to shut off (disconnect) power, with both operations solely at the discretion of the utility.

It seems more of the AMR smart meters have been installed there rather than the AMIs, which have caused hacking expert Nigel Phair to raise hacking alarms on AMIs, since they can be hacked due to less secure data connections, which allow would-be hackers to get into those meters and customers’ information.

According to The Canberra Times article, here are some of Mr. Phair’s concerns and comments about AMI smart meters which, unfortunately, are mandated and pushed dogmatically into service in the USA:

  • “They’re vulnerable to cyber attacks back into the home because it can receive data over the internet,” said Nigel Phair.
  • Hackers could potentially cut power then demand money from households before reactivating it, or use it to determine when no one was home before breaking in.

[What a problem! Shouldn’t utility companies be mandated to provide ransomware protection programs built into their AMI smart meters?]

  • Mr Phair’s report Smart Meters: What does a connected house really mean? cited a case in Puerto Rico where hackers offered households lower power bills.
  • For fees ranging up to $US1000, hackers reprogrammed two-way smart meters remotely to reduce monthly power bills by 75 per cent, costing power bodies in Puerto Rico nearly $US400 million.

[Doesn’t that somehow seem like reasonable ‘sweet justice’ since utilities apparently don’t give a fiddler’s bowstring for consumers’ privacy, microwave radiation adverse health effects and consumers’ preferred choice of meters?]

  • The report pointed to malware software capable of infecting two-way meters before leaping to nearby meters, potentially shutting down entire neighbourhoods.
  • “Essentially, one-way radio transmission is more secure for the customer.” [2]

If what Nigel Phair states in the report he produced can be considered ‘precognition’ about hacking, can you imagine the problems homeowners will be faced with very soon. Not only do we have to worry about identity theft at other levels, but ransomware hijacked into our AMI smart meters demanding Bitcoin to get our electricity back! There ought to be consumer protection laws regarding such apparent misconduct on the part of utility companies for not providing safe utilities, in my opinion. First there were all those smart meter fires and now there are perpetual hack attack vulnerabilities.

Personally, I think all 50 states and Washington, DC, public utility commissions must come up to technological speed regarding AMI smart meters which, basically, are computers and adjust their thinking, regulations and implementation orders.

Furthermore, states PUCs must act responsibly toward consumers whose interests they are supposed to protect, not cater—or kowtow—to utility companies’ and their lobbyists’ every whim and fancy about new technologies that have not been vetted properly, but are based in World War II-era microwave consensus science run amok rather than investing in properly fixing and securing the nation’s utility grid and infrastructure(s).

References:

[1] http://www.canberra.edu.au/expert/index.cfm?event=expert.detail&expertid=9742
[2] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/3225-smart-meters-in-canberra-vulnerable-to-hacking-20170426-gvsj7t.html

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)


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